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Occupational Profile

Cashier

Cashiers total bills, accept payments, make change, provide information, fill out forms and provide receipts for goods and services in supermarkets, department stores, theatres, restaurants and other establishments.

  • Avg. Salary $20,222.00
  • Avg. Wage $13.77
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook Up
  • Employed 36,300
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Checkout Clerk, Customer Service Representative, Grocery Clerk, Sales Clerk, Salesperson, Store Clerk, Supermarket Clerk, Ticket Agent

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

85%
85%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Cashier is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Cashiers
NOC code: 6611
METHODICAL

Interest in comparing to calculate total payments received at the end of the work shift and reconcile with total sales

OBJECTIVE

Interest in manipulating - operating to wrap and place merchandise in bags, and to tabulate bills using calculators, cash registers and optical price scanners; may stock shelves and clean check-out counter area

social

Interest in speaking with customers to provide information; may accept reservations and take-out orders

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation. 

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Most cashiers operate electronic cash registers and optical price scanners. At the beginning of each shift, they are given a specified amount of money in a drawer and, at the end of the shift, may be required to balance their cash against total cash receipts. Cashiers must be familiar with the store's prices, policies and procedures to:

  • accept payments in cash or by cheque, credit card, traveller's cheque, point of sale or direct debit card
  • promote the use of credit
  • process coupons, discounts, other adjustments, gift certificates and exchanges
  • provide refunds.

Cashiers or checkout clerks in supermarkets and cafeterias:

  • greet customers
  • enter the prices of all items or scan products, and subtract the value of any coupons or special discounts
  • provide information such as where to find products
  • total bills and accept payment
  • thank customers and offer carry-out service
  • keep the checkout area clean and orderly
  • ensure that they have adequate change and appropriate cash levels at all times
  • use the paging system to request information or assistance as needed.

They also may:

  • weigh produce and bulk food
  • package or bag purchased merchandise
  • return unwanted items to the shelves and stock shelves during slack periods, or stand on the line ready to serve the first available customer.

Cashiers in retail stores tabulate bills, accept payment and pack purchased goods in bags or boxes. Most employers in the retail industry prefer to hire people who also act as salespersons (for more information, see the Retail Salesperson occupational profile).

Cashiers in restaurants also may:

  • accept reservations or takeout orders
  • type menus
  • sell candy and cigarettes
  • seat guests.

Box office cashiers sell tickets for admission to places of entertainment such as theatres, stadiums and skating rinks. In general, they:

  • provide information about events in person or by telephone, e-mail or regular mail
  • describe venue layouts and seating locations to help customers choose the best possible seats
  • fill reservations for seats.

Theatre box office cashiers often do public relations work as well.

Cashiers who work in government departments and other large organizations such as utility companies receive and process payments for things such as utility bills, taxes and parking fines.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Most cashiers stand in small booths or behind counters for long periods of time, sometimes near store entrances where they are subject to cold drafts in winter. During busy periods, there may be considerable pressure to work rapidly while maintaining accuracy and a pleasant manner. Depending on the work setting, cashiers may lift items weighing up to 10 kilograms.

Cashiers in supermarkets, cafeterias, theatres and retail stores often work evenings and weekends, and may work part time to cover busy periods. Restaurant and hotel cashiers often work rotating shifts without set days off. Vacation time off may be restricted to times of the year that are not as busy.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 10 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Cashiers work with the public and therefore must be courteous, personable, outgoing, patient, tactful and neat in appearance. They must also be able to:

  • keep cool under pressure
  • describe products and services clearly in person and on the telephone
  • remember faces, products, price codes and sales promotions.

They should enjoy having clear instructions to follow, balancing total payments and sales at the end of a shift, packing goods and operating equipment, and having daily contact with the public.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

The primary requirement for cashiers is the ability to provide good customer service and work with numbers accurately and quickly. Those who work with large sums of money must be bondable (acceptable to a bonding company as a responsible person). Cashiers who work for businesses where foreign currency is exchanged must know how to process exchanges. Computer experience is an asset.

Cashiers usually are trained on the job. Some employers provide short training sessions before putting inexperienced cashiers on the selling floor.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Above-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Cashiers are employed in:

  • supermarkets and food stores
  • drug stores
  • department stores
  • restaurants
  • theatres
  • business offices
  • hotels and motels
  • telephone utility companies.

In some stores, employment requires joining a union.

Cashiers may move into positions in other store departments or to advance to supervisory positions. In some establishments, cashiers may advance to assistant or branch manager positions.

In Alberta, 89% of people employed as cashiers work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 36,300 Albertans are employed in the Cashiers occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.0% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 726 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

In some retail establishments, the starting wage for cashiers is at or just above minimum wage. (As of October 1, 2016, the minimum wage in Alberta is $12.20 per hour for most jobs. For more information, see Alberta Employment Standards.) Job benefits may include merchandise discounts.

Cashiers
NOC code: 6611

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $10.20 $17.00 $11.86 $11.20
Overall $11.00 $22.00 $13.77 $12.39
Top $12.00 $25.20 $17.39 $18.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
Wholesale Trade
Accommodation & Food Services
Retail Trade
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

85%
85%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

44%
44%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

20%
20%

2015 Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Personal and Food Services

Updated Mar 17, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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